Intellectual Dishonesty: A Work of Art
One way to view narcissism is as extreme intellectual dishonesty.
It's extreme because it goes beyond normal intellectual dishonesty, as for example, when people claim to be "supporting" our troops while claiming that what those troops are doing is evil. Such people twist logic, thinking that we're too stupid to notice. But narcissists make that sound sane by denying or inventing even FACTS. If you have lived with a narcissist, you know that they won't hesitate to claim (if it suits their purpose) that the sky isn't blue -- it's purple.
In other words, they will say ANYTHING, no matter how absurd or contrary to the plainest facts. They are grown-ups who still think with the "magical thinking" of child. Fantasy and willful irrationality.
They actually live in a fictitious world, another world, not the real world. They are permanently lost in their imagination like an author deeply engrossed in imagining and writing a novel. A biographical novel all about themselves.
As Joanna Ashmun writes:
They live in an artificial self invented from fantasies of absolute or perfect power, genius, beauty, etc. Normal people's fantasies of themselves, their wishful thinking, take the form of stories -- these stories often come from movies or TV, or from things they've read or that were read to them as children. They involve a plot, heroic activity or great accomplishments or adventure: normal people see themselves in action, however preposterous or even impossible that action may be -- they see themselves doing things that earn them honor, glory, love, riches, fame, and they see these fantasy selves as personal potentials, however tenuous, something they'd do if they didn't have to go to school or go to work, if they had the time and the money.
But narcissists, like little children with an imaginary friend, don't distinguish between fantasy and reality. They superimpose the "movie screen" of their fantasy on their vision of reality, obliterating it.